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Geological Sciences is a degree category that consists of the following common degrees:

  • Oceanography

    Satisfaction:

    N/A

    Avg Grad Salary:

    $73k

    Oceanography

    The oceans cover almost 70% of the Earth. Oceanographers study the oceans and their complex relationships with the planet. They are concerned with marine organisms, the ocean’s chemical composition, the structure of the ocean floor, the movements of the ocean, design of technology for ocean exploration, and policy that protects the oceans.

    At the foundation of degree programs in oceanography are courses in the physical and biological sciences. Fundamental knowledge in these areas prepares students to focus their graduate level studies in a particular area of interest. Once in the work world, oceanography grads explore questions like: How does the ocean work? How does it affect global climate? How does it impact communities? What are the challenges of safe shipping? How do we ensure a sustainable food supply from the sea? What are the effects of sewage on aquatic ecosystems? How does the ocean affect human health and recreation? These wide-ranging questions speak to the scope of oceanography. It is almost as vast as the oceans themselves.

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  • Geology

    Satisfaction:

    High

    Avg Grad Salary:

    $72k

    Geology

    Geology, also known as geoscience and Earth science, is the study of the Earth. Students of the discipline learn about:

    • The processes that act upon the Earth, such as floods, landslides, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions
    • The materials of which the Earth is made, such as water, oil, metals, and rocks
    • The history, evolution, and past climates of the Earth

    In studying these things and becoming geologists, their goals are:

    • To better understand and predict natural disasters
    • To more effectively plan land use
    • To discover minerals and energy resources
    • To preserve natural resources and protect the environment

    Classes in geology degree programs cover subjects like chemistry of the earth, sedimentary rocks, paleontology, geophysical tools, math for earth sciences, data analysis, and climate change.

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  • Paleontology

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    N/A

    Avg Grad Salary:

    $73k

    Paleontology

    Dinosaurs. That’s what typically comes to mind when people hear the term paleontology. The field, though, is concerned with so much more than the earth-stomping lizards that roamed our planet for more than 165 million years. It is the study of the history of life on Earth. It draws elements from physics, botany, ecology, chemistry, biology, and geology and explores how these fields are intertwined in the Earth’s geological past.

    First and foremost, paleontologists and students of paleontology study fossils – the remains of plants, animals, and other living things that have been replaced by rock material or whose impressions have been preserved in rock. They use fossil remains to understand how ancient ecosystems formed, evolved, and sometimes disappeared. They become familiar with phrases like ‘glacial movement,’ ‘mass extinction,’ ‘tundra ecosystem,’ and ‘evolutionary theory.’ In short, they focus on how life has evolved from the tiniest single-celled organism to the complex life forms we are today.

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  • Hydrology

    Satisfaction:

    N/A

    Avg Grad Salary:

    $69k

    Hydrology

    Hydrology is about the active nature of water, the movement of precipitation.

    Hydrologists study surface waters like rivers, lakes, and streams and examine how rainfall and snowfall cause erosion, generate caves, and permeate soil and rock to become groundwater or flow to oceans and seas.

    They work with other scientists, engineers, and public regulators to forecast and manage floods or droughts, reduce waste water, promote sustainable usage of water, evaluate the feasibility of projects like irrigation systems and hydroelectric plants, and protect water resources.

    Students of hydrology study these and other aspects of the field. They learn about water management methods, land use, environmental issues, and how to collect water data, interpret statistics, conduct computer modeling, and use geographic information systems (GIS) and the global positioning system (GPS).

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